Increase in stray dogs

Daniel the Spaniel is proving popular with potential dog owners.
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The district council is seeking homes for seven dogs in its pound, the most it has ever had at one time.

It comes as the cost of living crisis nationwide is making more people hesitate at committing to owning a dog or puppy.

Euthanasia is a possible last-resort option for the dogs if homes are not found.

One of them so far is on the path to finding a good home after potential owners responded to a social media post by the district council last week.

Group manager compliance and development Jane Donaldson said the high number of strays was due to the time of year and the owners not being able to be located. ‘‘Sometimes there’s a peak of lost or wandering dogs after January, when the school term resumes and people get back to work,’’ Donaldson said.

When owners could not be traced or the dogs had been abandoned, it triggered the rehoming process.

‘‘Euthanasia would only be considered if all other options had been exhausted. Fortunately over the last couple of years we’ve worked closely with Dogwatch (Christchurch) and this hasn’t been required for any of our found dogs.’’

The seven dogs, renamed by the animal control team, are: Daniel the Spaniel, white and tan pup Toblerone, two-year-old Major, huntaway labrador crosses B1 and B2 who are likely brothers, white and tan crossbreed female Teddy and a cuddly two-year-old male mastiff Boss. As of yesterday, the district council was talking with ‘‘a few keen people’’ interested in adopting Daniel the Spaniel.

In January, SPCA general manager Dr Corey Regnerus-Kell said dogs in particular were struggling to find owners. Adoptions had slowed down, meaning canines were spending 20 more days than usual in SPCA care.

Regnerus-Kell said the cost of living meant people were hesitant to commit to the cost of owning a dog or puppy.

“The feedback that we’ve been getting is that cost of living is contributing to this. Keeping an animal does require a financial accountability from the new pet owner, and some people are concerned they might not be able to provide that, so they aren’t as willing to pick up and care for a new dog.”

For more information about adopting one or more of the seven dogs in Ashburton contact animal control on 307-7700 or info@adc.

Two-year-old Major is among dogs at the district council pound desperately seeking a furever home.